My first encounter with pH balance had absolutely nothing to do with my body, but everything to do with my mother's fish tank. She always stressed how important the pH balance of the water was to the survival of her precious fish.
It never dawned on me that it was just as critical to our survival as well.
Maintaining a healthy pH level can prevent (and correct) many illnesses that plague humans today. This is something that we can regulate simply with the foods we ingest.
Learning about the different acidic & alkaline foods, and how they affect us, can restore our bodies to a place of well-being. In this age of prescription pills and quick-fix surgeries, it does not seem like we have the patience to take control of our own health. However, I will always believe:
"Self care is the best health care."
We're going to introduce a few concepts to make this task less arduous for you. We'll clearly define pH balance, list indicators of an overly acidic body, and tell you how to resolve these issues (with the very popular Alkaline Diet ).
This is just an introduction, in no way is this the definitive work on your body's acid/alkaline balance. At the end of this page, I will also list some helpful resources to assist you in your research.
The term "pH" actually means the "potential of hydrogen", which is basically the proton concentration of a particular item. It can also represent the "potential of hydroxl" ions, which is the election concentration.
The pH scale is the tool we use to measure the alkalinity or acidity of that item. The scale ranges from 0 to 14. 0 is extremely acidic, while 14 is extremely alkaline.
The pH of your blood should be neutral (approximately 7.365)
Foods that are saturated with hydroxl ions (electrons) are alkaline. And those that are saturated with hydrogen ions (protons) are acidic.
The body uses electrons (hydroxl ions) for energy; therefore the pH scale (when applied to nutrition) is a measurement of the "electrical energy" contained within foods or drinks.
One major function in which the body uses these electrons is digestion. The electrons help buffer enzymes (acids) during this process.
If the food you consume is low in acids, then the body requires the use of less electrons in during digestion.
The lower the required enzyme buffers, the higher the alkaline reserves and the body's energy is reserved. This increases your overall energy.
The body is now able to devote that energy to other cells for use in their metabolic functions, like repairing dietary and environmental damage.
An alkaline environment is crucial to the metabolic process.
The pH level of your internal fluids (especially blood directly affects every cell in your body. If your pH level becomes too acidic, the body takes extreme measures to stabilize it. Most often, the blood will pull alkaline minerals (sodium, calcium, & magnesium)from tissues to neutralize strong acids. However, if your pH deviates too far to the acidic side of the scale, oxygen levels decrease, and cellular metabolism will stop.
If cells die, YOU die.
Now, that was not an attempt to scare you into an alkaline diet (although the benefits are great). Your body is equipped to regulate your pH level.
All bodily functions have acidic affects on the pH of the blood and tissues.
However, our environment and our diets make maintaining a healthy pH balance a more difficult task.
These external factors can lead to overacidity, which can wreak havoc on tissues and cellular function (including heartbeat & brain function). Some scientists even believe that an extremely acidic body is the root of all sickness.
"Physiological diseases are almost always the result of too much acid stressing the body's pH balance, to the point where it provokes the body into producing symptoms we call disease."
-Dr. Robert O. Young
There are usually warning signs that indicate the body is becoming too acidic (not always). These "symptoms" are generally the body's attempt to stabilize pH, but not all symptoms will be noticeable. Here are a few common indicators listed below.
Seven Stages of Acidity
1. Loss of Energy
2. Sensitivity and Irritation (ex. IBS)
3. Mucus and Congestion
5. Hardening of Soft Tissue (Lupus, Lyme, Fibromyalgia)
7. Degeneration (Cancer, Heart Disease, Stroke, AIDS)
(source: The pH Miracle Dr. Robert O. Young)
"Excess acid is something we do to ourselves."
So, how can you stabilize your pH balance? First, test your pH levels..
Then, if your body needs some adjusting, here's where that alkaline diet comes in. You really should strive to eat a healthy balance of alkaline and acidic foods, so the body will not have to endure excess stress.
Most physicians recommend consuming at least 80% alkaline food until your body has been rebalanced. After that point, that percentage can be reduced (70%).
Exercise is also key to maintaining balance, along with stress management. Both significantly improve your quality & quantity of life.